The Báb’s Tablet to the Seventeenth Letter of the Living

What follows is my provisional translation (in other words, not official or authorized; see here for more) of the Báb’s Tablet to the Seventeenth Letter of the Living—a station which the Bábí heroine Ṭáhirih later came to occupy. A typescript of the original text, kindly given to me by Omid Ghaemmaghami, has been published in a certain book by the late Muhammad Labib. (Please note: the typescript has not been closely compared with the original text to check for accuracy.)

This is that which We have sent down unto the seventeenth temple[1] at the behest of God, the Almighty, the Incomparable

He[2]

In the Name of God, the Most Exalted, the All-Praised

Glorified be He before Whom all the dwellers of earth and heaven humble themselves! Say: All shall find life in Him. He it is Who holdeth in His hands all who are in heaven and on earth. Say: All have been created through His bidding. He it is Who hath arisen in His Cause; He shall recompense whomsoever He willeth through His bountiful favor. Say: All men beseech His blessings. Hallowed be He Who createth whatsoever He willeth by His Word of command “Be,” and it is. Magnified be He Who calleth into being whatsoever He willeth through His peerless grace. Say: All are originated at His behest.

This is an epistle from the letter Tháʼ[3] unto the seventeenth temple. Bear thou witness that there is none other God but Him, and that unto Him do we all, verily, bear allegiance. His are the kingdoms of earth and heaven, and all abide by His bidding.

Hallowed be He Who is your Lord, and the Lord of your forefathers. Hallowed be He Who is your Lord, and the Lord of those fathers who shall succeed you. Hallowed be He Who is your Lord, and the Lord of your manifest forefathers. Hallowed be He Who is your Lord, and the Lord of your hidden forefathers. Hallowed be He Who is your Lord, and the Lord of your foremothers. Hallowed be He Who is your Lord, and the Lord of those mothers who shall succeed you. Hallowed be He Who is your Lord, and the Lord of your manifest foremothers. Hallowed be He Who is your Lord, and the Lord of your hidden foremothers. Hallowed be He Who is your Lord, and the Lord of all things aforetime and hereafter. All bow down in adoration before Him. He is God; no God is there but Him, heretofore and hence.

Say: All do His bidding. God testifieth that there is none other God but Him, and that this, verily, is one of His servants. Say: All profess their belief in Him. Unto Him belong all that is in the heavens and on the earth, and unto Him do all men turn in supplication. He is supreme over all created things; He is the Sovereign, the All-Glorious. His is the realm of all things, and all are originated at His behest.

Hallowed be He Who hath arisen in His Cause. Say: We all, verily, abide by His bidding. Say: God raiseth up whomsoever He willeth through His command. There is no God but Him, the Almighty, the Ancient of Days. He it is Who causeth whomsoever He willeth to enter His Paradise. Say: Behold! All are but His suppliants. He is God; there is none other God save Him, from the beginning that hath no beginning until the end that hath no end. Unto all hath it been promised that they shall attain His Presence, and by this is meant the Presence of Him Who is the Manifestation of His Self. The people, however, remain shut out as by a veil from this truth.

His servant, the remembrance[4]

__________

[1] That is, the seventeenth Letter of the Living.

[2] This single word appears on its own line—perhaps in the manner of, “He is God.”

[3] “This is the first letter of ‘Thamárih’ which means ‘fruit’. Shoghi Effendi, in his writings, refers to the Báb as the ‘Thamárih’ (fruit) of the Tree of God’s successive Revelations” (Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p. 3, note 1).

[4] Apparently, the signature of the Báb, which He appended to this Tablet and others addressed to the Letters of the Living.

A scan of the typescript of the complete Arabic text of this Tablet appears below.

Arabic Text of the Bab's Tablet to the Seventeenth Letter of the Living

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